The “disgraced” foot-over bridge (FOB) near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium that once shamed the Capital by collapsing just days before the Commonwealth Games began has now -- two and a half years later -- been nominated, along with another one, for the ‘Best Infrastructure Project’. The two FOBs were formally declared completed by Delhi PWD Minister Rajkumar Chauhan in February this year.
“The FOBs constructed at JLN Stadium are one of the most elegant structures adorning the skylines of Delhi over the Barapullah Elevated Road Corridor. These structures are testimony to the engineering excellence and high calibre of engineers,” states the nomination filed by the Public Works Department (PWD) for the 159 Annual CPWD Day to be held on July 12. Incidentally, the Barapullah Corridor won the award in 2011.
Construction on all other FOBs stopped following the incident in September 2010 when there was a slip in one of the clips that supported the structure that was attached to the end of the suspenders dangling from an arch. The structure fell while concrete was being poured into one of the decks. The Army was temporarily asked to rebuild the bridge for the purposes of the Games.
Yet, work on both the FOBs near the JLN Stadium was permitted to resume in March 2012 upon intervention of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Work was completed between September 2012 and February 2013.
“It’s a beautiful structure spanning 95 metres,” said PWD Chief Engineer Sarvagya Srivastava, adding no intermediate supports have been provided. The suspended steel-arch-type FOBs are the first-of-the-kind structures built in India, he said.
The bridges were rebuilt using alternate suspender system of Freyssinet Suspenders which are manufactured using specific industrial processes including heat treatment (quench and tempered) that ensures increased mechanical characteristics.
Mr. Srivastava said it is a “useful design” that can be easily constructed irrespective of the width of the road. “It is aesthetically pleasing, flexible when it comes to changing locations, cost effective and it does not occupy much space,” he said.
Comparing it with jewellery, the PWD Chief Engineer said that steel structures are an investment that can be sold easily or rebuilt at a different location. All the steel used were procured from SAIL and TATA.
“The most challenging task of constructing the FOBs was to bring back the confidence of the construction agency, consultant, client and the public in general. The work was being executed over the running traffic on Barapullah Elevated Road and Cluster Bus Depot Parking. Planning and execution of work over the running traffic was a big challenge,” noted the nomination filed.